|Posted: January 21, 2016, 8:42 pm - IP Logged|
Scratch offs are a game where a particular ticket has been predetermined to be a winner or not.
Even better, most states do the equivalent of letting a blackjack player know when the remaining deck is full of aces and 10's and they don't reshuffle.
That makes it possible for there to be times when there is an expected value to a ticket greater than the price of the ticket.
They also don't distribute winning tickets randomly.
If you had the scratch you could probably do what she did right now. The Texas Millionaire Club (Game 1492) has one outstanding ticket worth $7.5M that is in a pack number > 124,000 and by my estimate there are fewer than 350,000 tickets remaining. The guaranteed minimum value of each pack of 20 tickets is $340 or $17/ticket and the big prize adds another $21/ticket for a total of $38. Obviously not quite ready to exploit directly but what if you can manage to corral 100,000 of those tickets with the help of cooperative retailers and put them aside, unsold, while the other 250,000 tickets slowly get sold. Sit on them until either the last winner shows up or the lottery announces they are going to close the game or when the number of tickets you haven't bought drops to the point where the expected value exceeds $50 by a substantial amount.
Even a mom and pop retailer can play this for free. Stash 1000 tickets aside, inactivated, wait until either the 3rd winner shows up (at which point you sell your stock) or go to the last day for sales to see if the odds have swung to a positive expected value
If you happen to be a regional VP of a big grocery chain that sells lots of lottery tickets you could probably manage to personally stash away 10-20k of these tickets for this type of game on a regular basis and patiently wait for your opportunities.